Is it possible to find magic when you stop looking?
It was right there all along.
How could we have not seen it?
This was when I was hanging out with "The Guru" and decided to go on a stand up paddling adventure in Encinitas with my friend who owns a SUP Yoga company.
We brought the boards from the car, down the long winding walkway to the Leucadia shore.
As we prepared to change into our wetsuits, my friend looked at us and said, "Wait, what happened to my car keys?"
"What?" I asked.
"They were right here in my pocket, and now they're not here anymore."
"Oh no," we responded. We looked down on the sand. We turned round this way and that way.
There weren't any obvious keys to be seen.
Then, I looked back up the long walkway we had come.
"Oh no," we all said again.
We scattered, the three of us spending the next 45 minutes looking hard for a tiny set of car keys in trillions of grains of sand.
"Shoot," she exclaimed when we all reconvened. "I'm going to have to figure out what to do about this."
She got on her cell phone, tried to call multiple people to bring her a spare set. No one was available to help.
We stood around, huddled in a semi-circle.
I thought about my day ahead, how I wouldn't be able to meet with clients or teach my yoga classes. I got on my phone and began texting in prep of having to wait there for at least an hour or more until we figured out the next steps, as my friend prepared to call for a tow.
The Guru looked at me.
He kicked my foot.
"Hey," he said. "You're not even looking."
I looked up at him, annoyed, thinking, 'Well, how in the world are we going to find one set of keys on this entire expanse of beach we've walked.'
Then, I looked down at my feet.
"Oh, you mean for these?" I bent down and picked up my friends' keys.
At my feet.
We'd wandered for the last 45 minutes and weren't even in the same place we started, but here were her keys.
Literally, right where I was standing.
The Guru smiled.
My friend jumped up for joy and quickly hung up her phone.
I put my phone away too, then looked at the boards that had been sitting there, waiting for our adventure to begin.
"Do you guys still want to paddle out?" she asked.
"Yep," I said. "Let's go."
How this experience could have happened, I have no idea. I could not tell you all of the magical serendipities that had to occur in order for me to literally be standing right beside the very thing we had been looking for — three adults and even some strangers — for the past hour.
It genuinely felt like the veil between here and There disappeared for a moment and the keys were placed with ease right beside me.
They just showed up.
Sometimes, we go running all around for the things we're looking for.
We're freaking out.
We're in such a tizzy that we feel very small and constricted in focusing on all the things that are going wrong.
Even though simultaneously, every factor could be working in your advantage, but you just can't see it.
Because by the time we finally paddled out into the water, we were greeted by dolphins.
By a gorgeous day.
By hot chocolate afterward at the cafe down the street.
Magic. It's all around us.
And sometimes, it shows up best when you stop seeking.
When you surrender.
When you accept that this is where you are right now, until you're Divinely Guided to the next point, and the next one, and the one after that.